Bill Stangler ensures the major rivers around Columbia stay a crown jewel of the state
The river, despite elevated bacteria levels in places, is still a great place to spend a day fishing or tubing
By: Josh Butler
The Congaree Riverkeeper just posted his most up to date water quality status check... and the results showed some problem areas.
"We got a couple of hits for bacteria exceedences… specifically e. coli at two sites. One at urban stream down here downtown, a tributary to the rivers, and one at a wastewater discharge on the Broad River just upstream from here," says Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Stangler.
The Riverkeeper website shows the levels at the Broad River testing site exceeded state standards, but they were greatly reduced from their levels when the water was tested in December.
Stangler says there are specific times when you may have to look out for added pollution in the rivers.
"Be careful especially after it rains. After it rains, if we have a decent amount of rain, that’s when we see our sewer spills and that’s when we see a lot of urban runoff/storm water runoff," says Stangler.
He also says those levels will remain elevated for 24 to 48 hours after a significant amount of rain.
Occasionally elevated levels do not mean the river is unsafe to be in.
Stangler says the rivers in and around Columbia are economic drivers for the whole state, and tens of thousands of people come to Columbia every year just to visit them.
To find the most recent river quality tests and more information on the Congaree Riverkeeper, visit congareeriverkeeper.org